A brief history of DisneyQuest

Cancelled - Disney Quest

Bright Sun Films‘s Cancelled series looks at various projects that were cancelled for one reason or another. In S1E2, they looked at DisneyQuest, an ambitious Disney theme park that I had the luxury of visiting twice before it shut down (once in 2010, once in 2016).

Disney planned to build DisneyQuest theme parks across the US, starting with a park in Downtown Disney (now Disney Springs and my visits were before and after the name change) in 1998 and Chicago in 1999. However, low attendance at the Chicago site resulted in its closure 2 years later and the project was ultimately cancelled. But the main Downtown Disney site remained open until it finally closed in 2017.

It’s one of Disney’s many project failures but because Disney owns everything and earns billions from its successes, it’s not so bad! I liked DisneyQuest at least.

Bees' brain cell density is higher than birds

This from New Scientist about bees:

Many bees have a brain cell density greater than that of small birds – but most ant brains contain a far lower density of neurons. The difference may be down to the insects’ lifestyles: because bees fly, they may need more brain cells than ants do in order to process visual information […]

However, the difference in the insects’ brain cell counts probably has little to do with intelligence, says team member Wulfila Gronenberg, also at the University of Arizona. The researchers think flying insects probably need more neurons to power the enhanced vision they need for flight, an idea that they will test in future.

See also: stingless bees and murder hornets

(via New Scientist)

The history of Times New Roman

Times New Roman— Graphic Design History 101

How did Times New Roman become the default typeface we all use? Born out of anger, selected for its economics, and adopted because of its accessibility. In this video, we dive into the history of the Times New Roman typeface, how it came to be, and why is it such a staple from congress to college.

See also: an ‘Old Style’ font similar to Cooper Black, favourite typefaces of 2020, and the story of Comic Sans

Panther milk

panther milk

This Spanish delicacy (leche de pantera) originated from the Spanish Foreign Legion in the 1920s. Soldiers mixed any alcohol they had with condensed milk as a substitute for medicinal pain relief and then it became a fashionable drink in the 70s.

Ingredients

  • 5ml of grenadine (optional, for colour)
  • 35ml of rum or brandy
  • 35ml of gin
  • 35ml of condensed milk
  • 100ml of whole milk

Recipe

  1. Put everything in a cocktail shaker
  2. Shake (don’t stir) with ice
  3. Strain into a glass
  4. Lightly dust with cinnamon
  5. Transform into a panther
  6. Step 5 was a joke
  7. But seriously, drink responsibly

You can also buy your own Panther Milk.

Marc Wilson's 'The Last Stand' photo series

I loathe warfare or anything related to it but I’m making an exception for this since the photos are so captivating.

The Last Stand is a photo series by Marc Wilson that looks at relics of military conflict and the memories they hold.

The series is made up of 86 images and is documents some of the physical remnants of the Second World War on the coastlines of the British Isles and Northern Europe, focusing on military defence structures that remain and their place in the shifting landscape that surrounds them. Many of these locations are no longer in sight, either subsumed or submerged by the changing sands and waters or by more human intervention. At the same time others have re-emerged from their shrouds.

Marc took these photos over the course of four years and travelled 23,000 miles to get them. Locations include the UK, France, Belgium and Denmark.

You can buy a photobook of the series on Marc’s website.

TIL: you can eat banana peels

banana peel bacon

As a kid, I loved bananas to the point where Bananaman was one of my favourite superheroes. But I always knew that you shouldn’t eat the peels. Until today.

I saw this tweet (quote tweeted by Swiss Miss) and thought “banana peel bacon?! Surely not” but lo and behold, banana peels are edible:

While the thought of eating a banana peel may be hard for some to stomach, it’s a common ingredient in many cuisines around the world.

The peel of a banana makes up about 35% of the ripe fruit and is often discarded rather than consumed.

However, using the peel is a great way to reduce food waste while squeezing some extra vitamins and minerals into your diet.

In fact, banana peels are not only edible but also rich in several key nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, polyunsaturated fats, and essential amino acids.

(via Healthline)

You can’t talk about bananas and not mention potassium. It’s the law!

The urban photography of Apo Genç

While I was watching Blade Runner 2049, I quickly browsed through Abduzeedo’s blog and found a piece on Apo Genc. The cinematic resemblance was striking.

Apo Genç was born in Turkey and became a professional videographer back in 2013. The above shots were taken last November in Hamburg as part of a series called Hamburg Noir.

You can find more of Apo’s work on his website, his Instagram, and his Behance portfolio.

Chiso is a 466-year old Japanese kimono house

Truly great gowns, beautiful gowns from Chiso, a traditional Japanese textile producer in Kyoto, Japan.

When Yozaemon Chikiriya established his garment business, Chiso, in Kyoto, his primary customers were monks who required fine clerical vestments. That was 1555. More than four centuries later, the company’s intricately cut robes are coveted as luxury garments, and Chiso—having persevered through shrinking economies, shifting trends, wars, and more—has found itself among the last of Japan’s bespoke kimono houses.

Penn & Teller's nail gun trick

Nail gun trick in sync - Penn & Teller are professionals

Every now and again, I fall down a Penn & Teller rabbit hole. They articulate the way magic works in a fun and engaging way and their famed nail gun trick is a fine example.

The basic premise of the trick involves Penn using a nail gun to flit between nailing a long block of wood and shooting it into his hand. But the trick lies in remembering when that’s safe to do so as a “magazine” of nails has gaps in it, at which the nail gun just shoots air—safe for a hand to withstand.

The video shows two examples of the trick synced together and it’s impressive how that even works. I can’t even put IKEA furniture together without making a mistake, let alone handing a nail gun without needing a hospital visit or a tetanus shot.

Related to danger: Hot meat cleaver seeking 10 lighters for fiery fun

'And if we can all be more like little Rudiger...'

Taken from The Simpsons episode, “Bart’s Inner Child” (S05E07)

This short clip distills everything I love about The Simpsons:

  • Simple one-liners (“There’s no trick to it, it’s just a simple trick!”)
  • Comedic timing and spot-on satirical observations (“And as soon as you’re not human being, you’re a human doing. Then what comes next?” “A human going!”)
  • Off-ball silliness (Bart pretending to be called “Rudiger”)
  • Albert Brooks guest appearances

Etta Loves's Keith Haring collection

radiant baby

I came across this via Feedly as I have a Keith Haring Google Alert set up.

Etta Loves is an e-commerce site that makes baby sensory products such as muslins and playmats. They’ve recently collaborated with Keith Haring to create a line of products that bear Haring’s iconic prints. I love his work because it stimulates my mind so I can’t imagine how cool it’d be for a baby. All those colours and shapes!

The stunning patterns ensure that babies are stimulated and mesmerised, giving parents a precious moment of calm and, with Keith Haring, their first art gallery experience.

Check out the collection on the Etta Loves website.

Whiteness and racism aren't illnesses

a sign that says racism is a pandemic

I initially opted for a softer title but it was a life goal to be more active with my language back in 2016 or 2017 so there you go.

Three things popped up on my social feed today regarding the connection between whiteness and racism and the language of illness. In reverse order:

  1. An article called “Whiteness is a Pandemic” by Damon Young, referenced in this Kottke.org post of the same title.
  2. An Instagram story from Josh Rivers of Busy Being Black discussing his personal use of language linking white supremacy to illness
  3. This thread from Dr Subini which Josh had originally referenced from an Instagram screenshot post as a counterpoint to the above

Before I dive into anything else, it’s amazing how circumstances can connect through the power of the Internet. And yet that’s exactly what it was created for. Large networks of information rabbit holes that are never too far apart to be deemed coincidence.

Anyway, the final paragraph from Young’s piece for The Root:

White supremacy is a virus that, like other viruses, will not die until there are no bodies left for it to infect. Which means the only way to stop it is to locate it, isolate it, extract it, and kill it. I guess a vaccine could work, too. But we’ve had 400 years to develop one, so I won’t hold my breath.

It’s common to see racism and its structures to be represented that way and while I’ve not done it myself, I know many friends and family who have and haven’t argued against it. But then Josh Rivers mentioned how he’d used similar language before finding this Instagram post from Project LETS which referenced a Twitter thread by Dr. Subini Annamma, a Black Asian feminist and author of The Pedagogy of Pathologization: Dis/abled Girls of Color in the School-prison Nexus. Here’s the first tweet of it:

Fam, racism is not a virus. White supremacy is not a pandemic. Using illness & disability as a metaphor situates white supremacy & racism as passively spreading. These metaphors evade the way white supremacy & racism are purposefully built into structures & strategically enacted

Now this I can relate to. I understand the idea of white supremacy and racism like diseases in that they pervade society and you don’t always see it or can do little to prevent or cure it at all in large quantities. But viewing them as physical structures makes more sense because there are actual constructs that were built for the purpose of promoting white supremacy.

There is no vaccine for racism and knocking down buildings of oppression won’t solve the problem in and of itself. Instead, we tear those walls down and we clear the debris and we use those bricks to create the opposite. The work doesn’t stop because the buildings aren’t standing anymore.

(featured image by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona)

The history of US racism against Asian Americans

Up until the eve of the COVID-19 crisis, the prevailing narrative about Asian Americans was one of the model minority.

The model minority concept, developed during and after World War II, posits that Asian Americans were the ideal immigrants of color to the United States due to their economic success.

But in the United States, Asian Americans have long been considered as a threat to a nation that promoted a whites-only immigration policy. They were called a “yellow peril”: unclean and unfit for citizenship in America.

(via The Conversation)